Corporate Communications

Scenario for a Corporate Communications Arrow

… let’s think about corporate communication (CC).

CC is an essential unit within the marketing department for larger companies and companies who want to grow large.

The communications department is responsible for creating and managing the company’s narrative to internal and external stakeholders (employees, media, partners, investors, and the general public).

Companies should aim to communicate the same message to all its stakeholders in a uniform, coherent, and credible way.

As the new CMO …

your job is to oversee ACME’s corporate communication department and manage the communications director.

… a good way of thinking about corporate communication is to group it into three buckets.

1.) Management Communication
Management communication pieces are created to target customers, employees, and strategic partners.

2.) Marketing Communication
Marketing communication pieces are designed for branding, advertising, sales, packaging, and sponsorship campaigns.

3.) Organizational Communication
Organizational communication pieces are for investor relations, community relations, and public relations activities.

As you create communication pieces … you can organize and group them into the three buckets above. In this way, it will help you see communication areas that may need attention.

Let’s keep going, …

In the remainder of this use case scenario, let’s talk about 6 types of communications.

Each type is uniquely different but equally important.

Types of Corporate Communication:

  • Media Relations
    (pitching stories, distributing press releases, etc)
  • Investor Relations
    (releasing annual reports, financial reports, etc)
  • Community Relations
    (charitable contributions, social responsibility, etc)
  • Employee Relations
    (employee programs, culture, mission, values, etc)
  • Customer Relations
    (customer appreciation, register to win contests, etc)

First, let’s talk about Media Relations

True to its name, media relations is the process of creating a strong brand presence and relationship with the media.

One way you can do this is to write and distribute press releases to online newswires like PR Web or Newswire.

Another way is to package your communications, and email/tweet it to your internal list of bloggers and journalists.

Other forms of building media relations may include:

Scheduling CEO Interviews

Hosting Press Conferences

Holding Town Hall Meetings

Sponsoring Events

Hiring a Spokesman

… the key to media relations is consistency. Your goal is to create inbound opportunities for the media to contact you.

It’s a good idea to develop a PR calendar and plan your PR initiatives as far in advance as possible.

If you don’t already have one, it’s wise to get started building a media list of bloggers and journalists in your industry. This is a task that you can delegate to a team member or virtual assistant.

The more bloggers and journalists who see your PR communications, the better the chances of getting coverage on your next and future communications.

Second, let’s talk about Investor Relations

Investor relations is a big communications responsibility.

Your team is responsible for managing 2-way communication between your corporate management team and its investors.

Some activities associated with investor relations are:

Coordinating Shareholder Meetings

Releasing Financial Data

Publishing Annual Reports

Handling Investor Queries

… if your company wants to raise investment capital in the future, keep in mind that potential investors conduct due diligence research on companies before investing in them.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea for your communication directors to collaborate with you to tailor your company’s narrative to suit investor audiences.

One way of doing this is by releasing strategic PR communications about your company’s growth and financial achievements.

Communications that are investor-centric can not only speed up the investor due diligence process, but it can also attract more investors down the road.

… having someone to manage ACME’s investor relations is an important and high-skilled role.

You will likely need your CEO’s approval to hire an experienced professional to add them to your communications department.

Third, let’s talk about Community Relations

Community relations is a great PR channel for companies looking to strengthen their local footprint.

There are several tangible and intangible benefits that arise from implementing a community relations program.

The benefits may include:

Greater Community Support

Increased Customer Loyalty

Stronger Brand Equity

Higher Employee Morale

Better Employee Teamwork

More Strategic Partners

Community relations activities work well for large and small businesses alike. Community footprints are a competitive advantage. And local news outlets are attracted to community-related stories

Here are a few ideas and types of community relations programs:

  • Cause Marketing & Charitable Contributions
  • Social Responsibility
  • Community Beautification Projects
  • Scholarship Programs
  • Employee Volunteer Programs
  • Performing Arts Programs
  • Family & Children Programs
  • Special Event Sponsorships
  • Youth Sports Sponsorships
  • Join Community Associations

… it’s a wise place to start your community relations program by surveying your team to learn about what’s important to them. This in itself will likely increase employee morale.

But don’t stop there.

Keep the goodwill going by launching a community relations program that attracts and retains the best employees. These types of employees will be most passionate about your company, values, and mission.

Fourth, let’s talk about Employee Relations

Community relations is a nice segway into employee relations. Because they complement each other.

Employee relations is oftentimes thought of as a function of the human resources department, but it should be a shared function with the marketing department.

All employees are marketers, salespeople, and brand ambassadors.

Therefore, employee relations and management communications are strategic imperatives for growth-minded companies.

One of the ways marketing can impact employee relations is through company-culture marketing.

Something as simple as displaying your company values, team pictures, inspiring quotes, et cetera on office walls communicate culture to employees.

And another way marketing can have an impact on employee relations is through the creation and distribution of a monthly employee newsletter.

Your employee newsletter can include:

Letter from the CEO

Employee Birthdays

Employee Anniversaries

Company Good News

Spotlight Employees

Polls & Surveys

Upcoming Events

Product & Service Updates

And more…

When you keep employees informed, you keep them engaged.

When employees are engaged, your prospects and customers will feel it.

When your customers feel appreciated, they spend more money and remain loyal to your brand.

Don’t leave employee relations up to HR,  …

Partner with HR … and use strategic communications and internal marketing to create better business outcomes.

Fifth, let’s talk about Customer Relations

Now let’s have some fun, .

Let’s think about customer relations … or as I like to call it, customer appreciation.

This is your chance as a marketing and communications team to do some really cool stuff for customers and create word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

Think about it … because of social media … word-of-mouth marketing has never been more powerful.

Chances are if you do cool stuff for your customers every now and then, they are going to post about it on social media. And they will fall in love with your brand.

Here are some customer appreciation ideas to get you started:

Host Register to Win Contests

Send Handwritten Thank You Cards

Create Thank You Videos

Send One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Have Holiday Giveaways (ie … send flowers on Mother’s Day)

Create Customer Feedback Loops

Give Unexpected Upgrades

Host Customer Networking Events

Customer appreciation is a marketing channel that can be used to increase revenue.

When you invest in your customers, they invest in your company back. It’s the law of reciprocity.

Anthony Ragland
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